Send to

Choose Destination
J Biomech. 2012 Jan 3;45(1):123-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.09.007. Epub 2011 Nov 20.

Probing the mechanobiological properties of human embryonic stem cells in cardiac differentiation by optical tweezers.

Author information

Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and hESC-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CM) hold great promise for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. However the mechanobiological properties of hESC and hESC-CM remains elusive. In this paper, we examined the dynamic and static micromechanical properties of hESC and hESC-CM, by manipulating via optical tweezers at the single-cell level. Theoretical approaches were developed to model the dynamic and static mechanical responses of cells during optical stretching. Our experiments showed that the mechanical stiffness of differentiated hESC-CM increased after cardiac differentiation. Such stiffening could associate with increasingly organized myofibrillar assembly that underlines the functional characteristics of hESC-CM. In summary, our findings lay the ground work for using hESC-CMs as models to study mechanical and contractile defects in heart diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center